Following up on the Chechnya post, here are a few more resources that I googled up:
On the Web!
More on Wahhabi penetration in the Caucasus:
In 1999, RFE/RL correspondent Oleg Kusov interviewed young people in Gudermes, the second-largest town in Chechnya. They told him they would follow the Wahhabi principles because the Wahhabis gave them $100 a month — a large amount of money the traditional Sufi orders are unlikely to be able to pay.
Lesley Blanch wrote on an account of the Murid Wars of the mid-1800’s, focusing on the Imam Shamyl, the Lion of the Caucasus, called Sabres of Paradise. An Amazon reviewer sums it up:
The reviews I’ve read so far fail to emphasize that this book, while it certainly covers much of the history of the Caucuses in the latter half of the 19th century, is in no small part a biography of Imam Shamyl, “The Lion of Dhagestan”, and his role as the leader of what was referred to as “The Mureed Wars”. Shamyl was a legendary, charismatic leader who, through the power of his Islamic faith, and with the added dimension of being son-in-law of one of the great Shaykhs of the Naqshbandi Sufi order (Jamaluddin Ghumuqi), united the various tribes and peoples of this region to fight off the great Russian Bear for nearly 25 years. It is an epic tale of heroism and tragedy on a personal and cultural level, and will grip the reader as they follow the exploits and the battles that are still to this day legendary in the Caucuses.
Steve Reeves is The White Warrior. Alright, I’m not recommending this one. It’s a pretty schlocky Hollywood “epic” from the 50’s focusing on Hajji Murad, a contemporary of Imam Shamyl (“King Shamyl” in the film). They should remake it with Keanu Reeves!
Also, Cinderella Bloggerfeller [and people say my handle is odd] noticed my Chechnya comments and added a whole lot more, including some interesting info on religious tolerance of Muslims and Jews in Poland. What kind of Pole does that make me that I didn’t know that? As for my famous ancestor, I’m sure half the Poles in Hamtramck can claim the same, but I’ll stick to my story anyway. Cindy [apologies in advance] also writes about the struggle for influence over in the next gorge, the Pankisi Gorge.